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study of prison nursery and community corrections programs

In Argentina, incarcerated mothers are allowed to keep their young children with them for the first two to four years. In the U.S., despite soaring increases in the number of women behind bars, only 9 states have recognize the importance of the mother-baby bond and have or are developing prison nursery programs.

The Women's Prison Association conducted a study of prison nursery programs and mother-baby community corrections programs, finding:

Many women parenting their infants in prison nurseries could be doing so in the community instead, the report finds.   The profile of women in prison nurseries is nearly identical to that of participants in community-based programs.  Women in both types of programs are serving relatively short sentences for non-violent offenses, and will continue primary caretaking responsibility for their child(ren) upon release.   Further, most women in prison nursery programs present little risk to public safety.

Read the full report (as a pdf) here

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